Gowanus Brewery


Gowanus Strong Wheat Ale – Recipe Rewrite by Jeremy
May 10, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: all-grain, beer, recipe, strong ale

Many thanks to the members of the New York City Homebrewers Guild and to Friar Smith for helping to refine this recipe.

Based on their advice, I’m reducing the total amount of Liberty malt and hops, as well as adjusting the hop schedule. It was suggested that these ingredients might be overpowering and I want to ensure that this brew is still recognizable as a wheat ale when all is said and done. Also, Friar Smith made me aware that, at least in his experience, a little honey goes a long way, even at half the volume I intended to use. So, I’m cutting that down as well.

8 lb. Wheat malt
8 lb. American 2-row
2 lb. Flaked wheat
1 lb. American victory
1.5 oz. Newport (13% AA, 60 min.)
1.5 oz. Argentina Cascade (3% AA, 15 min.)
1.5 oz. Argentina Cascade (3% AA, 0 min.)
1 lb. Basswood Honey (boil flameout)

Mash 145-155 degrees Fahrenheit, 120 minutes; boil 90-120 minutes; age six months.

For this beer, I have to use a modified mash schedule. That’s because mash efficiency tends to be lower for higher gravity beers, which requires collecting more wort than usual. High gravity beers also require substantially larger yeast starters that have volumes in the .5 to 1 gallon range and must be figured into your final volume. With those two factors in mind, this is the plan:

  1. Collect Water: In the primary kettle, add 6 gallons water and bring to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In second kettle, add 4 gallons of water and bring to 170 degrees.
  2. Add Grain and Heat: Add grain to primary kettle, heat to mash temperature of 150 degrees. Hold for 120 minutes.
  3. Mashout and First Sparge: Raise temperature to 170 degrees and collect 4 gallons wort.
  4. Second Sparge: Add the 4 gallons of water from the second kettle. Collect 4 gallons wort.
  5. Boil: Boil 8 gallons wort down to 5 gallons, adding hops and adjuncts at appropriate times.
  6. Pitch Yeast: Pitch .5 gallon yeast starter for final target volume 5.5 gallons.

This brew will represent many homebrewing firsts for me. I’m anxiously looking forward to getting started on it.

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7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The recipe is looking good! Good luck with it.
Your starter is actually still not big enough. If you are just starting with one smack-pack or vial, you will need a one gallon starter. You can make it a week ahead of time, let it ferment out, and then throw it in the fridge for a day or two. pour off half the wort, swirl to mix, and pitch the rest.

Cheers, Sean

Comment by Seanywonton (Sean White)

Actually, the yeast situation is the reason I haven’t brewed this up yet. All the other ingredients are just sitting around at the house!

It doesn’t say it in the post, but I’ll be stepping up my starter on a stir plate. That should bump up cell density and bring me into a reasonable pitching rate of cells over total volume.

By the way, I am growing an extra quarter-gallon starter along side this one to have on hand just in case.

Comment by Jeremy

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[…] in the future I decide to make another batch of strong wheat ale and have the opportunity to make batch of beer like this again, I think I would experiment with a […]

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Comment by material handling




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